Curtain call

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A stage

Empty

Dark

A spotlight

Center stage

A woman enters from stage left

Standing at center

She smiles

Her hand covers her mouth demurely

She lets out a quiet, little giggle

Quickly reigning it back in

Her lips curling at the corners

Lower lip quivering

She lets out a long, full-bellied laugh

As it begins to trail off

A floodlight comes on

The entire stage behind her is filled

Men and woman of all types

They join in, in the laughter

At times it’s deep and throaty

At others it’s shrill and cackling

It moves to a crescendo

When the original woman lets out a snort

Everyone falls to dead silence except her

She snorts out, once or twice, into the silence

Embarrassed, she stops and hides her face

The floodlight goes out

Her body shudders

Slowly her hands lower to her sides

Her hands tighten into fists which shake

She lets out a guttural scream

Gravelly and tearing at the throat

The floodlight comes back up

Now the stage is filled

Women on the right and men on the left

The women join in the screaming

They focus their vocal assault on the men

Fists shaking and feet stomping

The men cover their ears as their lips snarl

The women’s screams die out

The original woman holding her scream

For a couple seconds longer than the rest

The men lower their hands from their ears

Bending at the knees the men crouch low

From deep within a growling grows

As they rise the growl becomes a howl

Arms flailing about and muscles flexing

When the howling dies out

The men cock their fists back in unison

The women fall to the stage

Holding their hands up defensively

The floodlight goes out

Leaving the original woman alone

Shielding her face with her hands

Her body begins to shake

She lets out a low moan of pain

Shuddering to take in air

She builds to a long, soulful vibrato, moan

The floodlight comes back up

Only women are on stage behind her

They join in the chorus of wails and moans

This crying moves in waves

Quietly whimpering to sobbing to shrieking

As it builds to a crescendo the women fade

The floodlight dims to black

Leaving the original woman still lying at center

Her shuddering slows until she is motionless

Lying supine she is silent and still

An area light comes up

It reveals a casket

She looks over her left shoulder at the casket

Her body begins trembling

She cries quietly

She picks herself up and goes to the casket

She stands at the side of the casket

Still quietly crying

She lifts the upper lid and peers inside

Her low crying and body’s shaking builds

The crying’s staccato seamlessly transforms

We find her beginning to laugh

She throws her head back

Belting out a full-bodied guffaw

She climbs inside of the casket

Still laughing

We can no longer see her as she sinks in

Her laughing becomes a chuckle

Finally she lets out a snort

A pause of silence and another snort

Her hand rises from within the casket

Another snort and the hand slams the lid shut

The area light fades to black

10 thoughts on “Curtain call

      • I found it quite interesting. I even laughed out loud when I read her first snort. A wordless performance is of a genius mind, esp still experiencing all the emotions of a verbalized stage that gives you the same “ride.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s awesome, EN! I’m definitely feeling good about writing this piece now 🙂
        I think it grew from a memory of my grandmother’s funeral. I sat among my younger cousins, who were mostly girls, and I made my mind up to be strong, but they all started crying. It was as described in the post, this chorus of pain and anguish. I felt like a little boat being tossed about by the sea, until I cried and became part of the sea, as well. That moment has stuck with me. The power of it.

        Like

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